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What Is a Validator?

Blockchain technology requires a network of independent computers to achieve decentralization. Because the principle of decentralization is at the heart of blockchain technology. In other words, a network should not be dependent on a single host. Each computer on the network acts as a host. So, any data processed into the blocks can be stored on all computers. This concept, which started with Bitcoin, brought with it the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. PoW requires powerful processors and causes high energy consumption. However, next-gen blockchain networks such as Ethereum work with the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm. And this is where the validator concept comes into play.

What Is a Validator?

A validator is the person responsible for confirming transactions on a blockchain. A transaction must be confirmed before it can be processed. For example, a validator, like a bank employee who is responsible for executing transactions in a bank, validates each transaction according to a set of rules. A transaction can only be completed after its authenticity has been checked against a set of rules, and then its record can be added to the blockchain. In the PoS algorithm, a validator is responsible for checking whether a transaction complies with the rules that make it valid. This process is one of the factors that make a blockchain network secure and transparent.

How to Become a Validator

The word “validator” is often seen in the PoS algorithm in the blockchain ecosystem. While validators perform confirmations in PoS, this task is performed by miners in PoW. So, validators and miners do the same job on different systematic infrastructures. Every blockchain network has its own rules. Individuals who meet the requirements can be validators. They are required to have a predetermined number of Tokens and a fast internet connection to rapidly confirm transactions.

Although it varies according to the structure of the projects, validators need to first declare their candidacy to take part in the system. The system, which reviews the data, then makes the selection automatically. The amount of cryptocurrency held by a validator must not be changed during or after the selection process, otherwise the validator status will be lost.

In case of any violation, a certain penalty method is applied, and the penalty rate is determined according to the violation rate.

A transaction cannot be added to the chain unless it is confirmed by validators/miners. And validators/miners earn rewards for the transactions they complete on the network.

Becoming a Validator on the Ethereum Network

The staking system started on the Ethereum network, which transitioned from PoW to PoS with Ethereum 2.0, and validators replaced miners. Validators earn by staking, rather than using mining devices as miners do. Validators earn a certain amount of revenue for the service they provide. A user must stake ETH to become a validator and earn block rewards. Ethereum developers said that each user can stake 32 ETH in order to become a validator. Validators who will confirm a block every 6.4 minutes will be randomly selected by the PoS consensus mechanism. Each participant can become a validator by running their own nodes, and users who don't want to run their own nodes can stake ETH through service providers that the Ethereum ecosystem offers as an option.